Net Neutrality. Hacktivism. Covert, non-consensual mass surveillance. Big Data/data hording. Information oligopolies/corporate monopolization. The subversion of the internet from a progressive, free, disaggregated, multivalent, creative medium to a commercialized, increasingly corporate, bias & corruptible doppelganger that shits on the founding principles & utilities. This is a very’ very important & brilliantly produced documentary at an urgent, timely & critical moment. The main contributors are Tim Wu, Peter Ludlow & Lawrence Lessig, basically all privacy law & internet/tech freedom related academics &/or activists. They’re great! Providing immensely insightful dialogue & stern warnings about the threats besieging this seismic utility & it’s furtively changing nature. Although not officially donating new material/critique to the film, Edward Snowden & Kim Dotcom also appear in a fair few sections regarding various facets of this mad battle for the preservation of internet freedom (& the prevention effort from it turning into an Orwellian corporatist instrument of unsurpassed imposition & unwarranted oversight). Killswitch also covers the life & untimely death of the hacktivist Aaron Swartz. I was hitherto unawares of this kid, but he was one hell of a human being & founded the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto with massively noble & radical ambitions of sharing academic data for free for evolutionary & socially enhancing purposes. Naturally, the Inferiorities, copyright industry et cetera was disapproving & the FBI & other government agents were activated to bring this kid & his ideal to heel. Aaron found himself facing various felonies, very similar to those devised for the stifling of eco activism such as the Animal Enterprise Protection Act, drafted by horror of horrors, lowest of the low, scum of the earth – the American Legislative Exchange Council, one of the absolute direst & extremist entities currently operating on this planet. He was found hanged in his Brooklyn apartment in 2013, at which time he was squaring-off against 13 felonies & facing up to 35 years in jail (the geezer was just 23 years old). Aaron (among many others) had also been a vital & fervent element of the backlash against 2011’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which was defeated by a massive public backlash. Again, all the details of these events are detailed here. Incredibly, almost all of this had escaped me? But as it mentions (very briefly) in the doco – the mainstream press barely covered this. You see the same omission or adulteration/downplaying & dilution for other subjects such as fracking, genetic modification, the Poppy Worthington case, TTIP/CETA, Investor Dispute Settlements, the ongoing Occupy movement & others (even in publications such as the Guardian that are expected & renowned for “independent” journalism on/in exactly such fields). It is extremely disturbing/corrupt, that obviously some “higher” decision/interference is excluding these very’ very important topics from the public spheres. But that very “exclusion” is also covered in Killswitch. Tim Wu & Peter Ludlow in particular concentrate on this, with Wu speaking of an abnormal & pernicious “concentration” of power & indeed power over information. The reality, not even to start on the potential, – for epic abuse of power/misrule/corruption from these unfolding super monopolies is as frightening as it is dour. That’s essentially what this superb documentary confronts & discloses. Watch it & spread it (great soundtrack too).
Directed by Ali Akbarzadeh , written by Ali Akbarzadeh & Christopher Dollar
Akorn/Cine Pictures (2014)
The bastards are at it again – https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/22/net-neutrality-internet-why-americans-so-worried-about-it-being-scrapped